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Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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The house is finally coming together. So I guess its high time I started posting a bit of this and that to keep you all interested. Not sure what to say today other then to exspess my gratitude to our many onlookers and supporters!guess I could include a pic or too as well.
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frame of our house
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more house stuff
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me all proud of my work as usual
 
Julia Winter
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Awesome!  More houses!  This Ant Vilage thing is really coming together now.  I can't wait to see what you all do.
 
Kerry Rodgers
Posts: 122
Location: North Texas, Dallas area suburbs, US zone 8
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Great to meet you, Sean!  So, did you arrive at ant village around May or something?  It looks like the house is going really well.  Did you have permaculture experience or roundwood building experience before?  Besides finishing the house, what kinds of plans do you have for your plot?
 
Rob Griffin
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Sean,
It is a start.  Remind me again what you were doing for berming and a roof.   Josh did give you the bucket and camping stuff?   How did your water movement plan work during the rain you had a few weeks ago?   You on track for the Winter?

Rob
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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Kerry Rodgers wrote:Great to meet you, Sean!  So, did you arrive at Ant Village around May or something?  It looks like the house is going really well.  Did you have permaculture experience or roundwood building experience before?  Besides finishing the house, what kinds of plans do you have for your plot?
nice to meet you as well kerry! I arived here February 23. Kind of just floated around feeling out my options. Then decided I couldnt pass up a plot of land and excavator time. I dont have much experience with any sort of construction to be honest. More or less I have just asked the other guys opinions and figured it out as I went. When all eltse fails I ask for help. I have a lot of plans for other projects for sure. Like a outdoor kitchen\workshed,bathhouse/greenhouse,a smokehouse, a tree house and cob house to air b and b. A lot of ideas realy. But after the house is livable im going to work on an outhouse some firewood and some seriouce tree planting of any seeds I can get my hands on.
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Sean,
It is a start.  Remind me again what you were doing for berming and a roof.   Josh did give you the bucket and camping stuff?   How did your water movement plan work during the rain you had a few weeks ago?   You on track for the Winter?

Rob
man is it good to hear from you! Hope you are well! Josh gave me that stuff. It comes in real handy to have a tent sleeping bag and food bucket. Im going to have my house about four feet below ground with an umbrella over the dirt to shed water away. Water movment went basicaly like you said it would durring the big rain event so gutters and or a trench is a must. All the trenches I took time to shape shedded a decent amount of water. I could definitely get a good yield if it at any low point.I can report that im on track for the winter and moving into my home on time. I'll be working my ass off but I wouldn't want it any other way!
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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Did some more framing today with the help of ben and dj. Then gave kia a little help cobbing. Im just about ready to slap windows and walls up! Good times.
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Rob Griffin
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Sean,
Good to hear.  I was thinking with that air mattress with the busted air valve (last night there go figure) as a water bladder to store a reserve.   Did it rain hard enough that you could whip a rain catchment funnel out of one of those tarps and get a fair amount of drinking water?  At least it could save a trip or two to the well. 

Are you doing a earth roof or maybe just a living roof?  

Anyone cutting hay like I proposed?   You got a wheelbarrow?  I could send you a hedge trimmer.   Tons of mulch, compost carbon, buiid a quick shed rood and have a hay pile you could winter over rabbits with....probably trade some too. 

Rob
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Sean,
Good to hear.  I was thinking with that air mattress with the busted air valve (last night there go figure) as a water bladder to store a reserve.   Did it rain hard enough that you could whip a rain catchment funnel out of one of those tarps and get a fair amount of drinking water?  At least it could save a trip or two to the well. 

Are you doing a earth roof or maybe just a living roof?  

Anyone cutting hay like I proposed?   You got a wheelbarrow?  I could send you a hedge trimmer.   Tons of mulch, compost carbon, buiid a quick shed rood and have a hay pile you could winter over rabbits with....probably trade some too. 

Rob
I like that idea about a storage bladder I will have to give that a try. I had company when the big rain came so my mind was everywhere but water catchment. I could have filled a freaking pool with just a few tarps it seemed. We got over three inches I believe. I keep saying im gunna go get some hay but you know how it goes. Been just working on the house and paying for material. If you want to send a hedge trimmer I would be down to use it. I love the idea of all I could do with that hay!I dont have a wheel barrow but I could figure something out once this house is livable I bet. My roof is going to be a layer of cardboard then tarps then sod. Not sure how thick but thick enough to get a cover crop. Im definatly starting to feel if my crops did this well with pine bow mulch or just no mulch at all that I could easily get one hundred percent ground cover with a little hay.
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berms that went unmulched
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9742
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Be aware that air mattress plastic is likely to give the water a nasty plastic taste, so maybe better for storing wash water than drinking water.

 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Location: Rensselaer New York
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Be aware that air mattress plastic is likely to give the water a nasty plastic taste, so maybe better for storing wash water than drinking water.

for sure! I planned to use it for things like laundery and cob.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22367
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I would like to suggest that the roof be angled in the opposite direction:  face the structure uphill.  Oehler style.
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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paul wheaton wrote:I would like to suggest that the roof be angled in the opposite direction:  face the structure uphill.  Oehler style.
the slope is to the east there I oriented to the south . What your seeing on thr south side is earth im going ti bury the house with. I wanted max light in the home hopefully I didnt go against the slope to much. But sept 10 is two weeks away so theres no way to change the plans till next year. Guess I gotta just make the most of it and see what happens.
 
Bill Puckett
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Location: the meadows, hawk's prairie, Oly, wa
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Sean Pratt wrote:I have a lot of plans for other projects for sure. Like a outdoor kitchen\workshed,bathhouse/greenhouse, a smokehouse, a tree house and cob house to air b and b. A lot of ideas realy. But after the house is livable im going to work on an outhouse some firewood and some seriouce tree planting of any seeds I can get my hands on.


If I were to say this, I would be referring to inchoate ideas in my head {postcones, chilicones, hyperbaric fermentation pond cavity...}, but when I read the above I wondered if you were referring to construction specific papery plans. Curious. Your smokehouse got me thinking of RMH and how easy it is to put a dehydrator cabinet near the M part. Could sure use a dehydrator that worked when the sun doesn't.

Of the couple hundred daily-ish emails in my inbox, I clicked into this "interesting" thread because the title suggested (to me) someone was summarizing all threads produced by people on the land lab, possibly with links to each that magically stayed current right on top of page 1. Is that happening? I am hardly ever on here because it sucks so much of my time when I am. Got a couple pinyon pines started. Monkey puzzles make bigger nuts but can appear prissy. What sort of trees do you want? English walnuts? Pears? Exotic stuff I have but don't even want to try any more?
 
Rob Griffin
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Sean,
Stuff sent to the 2120 S Rserve St 351 MISSOULA MT 59801 US address.  Should be there by the 8th.  What is so magical about Sept 10?  That when the GF arrives?

Rob
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
Posts: 63
Location: Rensselaer New York
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Bill Puckett wrote:
Sean Pratt wrote:I have a lot of plans for other projects for sure. Like a outdoor kitchen\workshed,bathhouse/greenhouse, a smokehouse, a tree house and cob house to air b and b. A lot of ideas realy. But after the house is livable im going to work on an outhouse some firewood and some seriouce tree planting of any seeds I can get my hands on.


If I were to say this, I would be referring to inchoate ideas in my head {postcones, chilicones, hyperbaric fermentation pond cavity...}, but when I read the above I wondered if you were referring to construction specific papery plans. Curious. Your smokehouse got me thinking of RMH and how easy it is to put a dehydrator cabinet near the M part. Could sure use a dehydrator that worked when the sun doesn't.

Of the couple hundred daily-ish emails in my inbox, I clicked into this "interesting" thread because the title suggested (to me) someone was summarizing all threads produced by people on the land lab, possibly with links to each that magically stayed current right on top of page 1. Is that happening? I am hardly ever on here because it sucks so much of my time when I am. Got a couple pinyon pines started. Monkey puzzles make bigger nuts but can appear prissy. What sort of trees do you want? English walnuts? Pears? Exotic stuff I have but don't even want to try any more?
this thread is just me talking about what im up to because people have showed interest in us. I realy dont have plans. Im waiting for down time to draw up some stuff and organize it into a system. Im most defiantly on the same page with the RMH dehydrator. Im hopeing to have a multi function smokehouse with a RMH at its core. Thatd the long term plan anyways. As for plants I want to plant everything I can get my hands on. And I mean EVERYTHING lol . So far I jave some apricots,plums,apples,choke cherries,hawthorn and maple to plant.
 
Sean Pratt
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Sean,
Stuff sent to the 2120 S Rserve St 351 MISSOULA MT 59801 US address.  Should be there by the 8th.  What is so magical about Sept 10?  That when the GF arrives?

Rob
oh man I cant wait! Thanks a bunch!I looked up that yhread about a hedge trimmer attached to a wheel barrow and cant amagine a more pleasant way to cut hay.
Sept 10 is the day ginny arrives you guessed it! Btw hiw is your garden coming? Did you make any changes?
 
Rob Griffin
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Garden is fine.  I really only have peppers and giant sunflowers.   Sunflowers are in the head laying over seed finishing part....I should have a ton this year.   I usually wait until the birds start getting at them to know they are ready to have the heads harvested. 

I did get one of those Mason Bee/ Leaf Cutter Bee packages from Crown Bees that we learned about at the PDC.   I got the Summer Leaf Cutter Bees delivered and I saw them on the sun flowers so mission accomplished.  Well...we will see if I get enough larva to harvest and do it again next year.  They will send the Mason Bees in the Spring when I let them know, I guess they will get all the pear and cherry trees around.  

The peppers are doing great, I can grow some peppers.   I have Carolina Reapers (world hottest), Ghost Peppers (top 5ish), Dragon Cayenne, Habaneros and Giant Jalapeños.   I should  have plenty to dry like I did with the #2 hottest peppers last year the Trinidad Scorpions.   I have a life time supply of the Scorpions and will of the Reapers and Ghosts.   The Habanero plant I gave you still dumping tons of fruit?  

Got a note from Home Depot that the Hedge Trimmer shipped today.   Wheelbarrow should be next week.  Did you see on the thread where some one was using long hay hooks as handles to walk and cut it low to the ground but still able to control it better than on the front of the wheelbarrow.  May not be that hard to attach to wooden sticks to it and try using it that way.  I was thinking worse case you just got on your knees and swept it around in an arc like a scythe and then moved that way.   Not the most comfortable but I bet in an hour you could have a bunch laid down and drying.


Rob 
 
Sean Pratt
Lab Ant
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Garden is fine.  I really only have peppers and giant sunflowers.   Sunflowers are in the head laying over seed finishing part....I should have a ton this year.   I usually wait until the birds start getting at them to know they are ready to have the heads harvested. 

I did get one of those Mason Bee/ Leaf Cutter Bee packages from Crown Bees that we learned about at the PDC.   I got the Summer Leaf Cutter Bees delivered and I saw them on the sun flowers so mission accomplished.  Well...we will see if I get enough larva to harvest and do it again next year.  They will send the Mason Bees in the Spring when I let them know, I guess they will get all the pear and cherry trees around.  

The peppers are doing great, I can grow some peppers.   I have Carolina Reapers (world hottest), Ghost Peppers (top 5ish), Dragon Cayenne, Habaneros and Giant Jalapeños.   I should  have plenty to dry like I did with the #2 hottest peppers last year the Trinidad Scorpions.   I have a life time supply of the Scorpions and will of the Reapers and Ghosts.   The Habanero plant I gave you still dumping tons of fruit?  

Got a note from Home Depot that the Hedge Trimmer shipped today.   Wheelbarrow should be next week.  Did you see on the thread where some one was using long hay hooks as handles to walk and cut it low to the ground but still able to control it better than on the front of the wheelbarrow.  May not be that hard to attach to wooden sticks to it and try using it that way.  I was thinking worse case you just got on your knees and swept it around in an arc like a scythe and then moved that way.   Not the most comfortable but I bet in an hour you could have a bunch laid down and drying.


Rob 
Sounds like you could mace half of texas with all that heat rob! Hope them bees breed too! That would be a great addition if you didn't have to reinvest every year.

My pepper plant did great. Huge amounts of dried peppers and seeds. It got forgotten in the shuffle of work for a few it days though and never recovered. Im just glad I saved the seeds. It was one epic plant!

Im itching to see how much hay I can lay down. I plan on trying the stick thing first but if push comes to shove ill get inventive!
 
Sean Pratt
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Man oh man will I be glad to be able to take a break from this house. I have one by fours for the walls now and window framing has started. I have a bunch of windows from Mikes place. I plan on having light on all four sides so eight or nine total.

Lots of cussing and threatening the windows today. Im not a very good carpenter yet... lol so after an epic fail on one its break time.I might go try to track a cougar who layed tracks right next to my plot last night. Im curiouce to see where she went.
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one window all framed
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a frame that didnt heed my threats. thank god fir steel toed boots...
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a blurry pic of the cougar track.
 
Sean Pratt
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Windows are starting to be installed!! Thank god for friend who help! South side is done and now I just need a few more. Im stoked
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Miles Flansburg
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leave the big cats alone Sean... or you might be the one being tracked.
 
Rob Griffin
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Sean,
Are you shoring the front to be bermed up to the windows?   I finally bought the Oehler book but have not had time to read it yet and see what all the fuss is about.  I did read the Hait book but it seemed to be at odds with what I have heard people preach about Oehler style.  I guess I will find out. 

The House is small so the light from the South Front windows is going all the way to the back wall so I would think that not having windows on both sides is not the end of the world.   In your climate where there is not that much rain which way the roof slopes is probably more manageable if it slopes to the back instead of to the front.  Again not the end of the world.  You don't have much of a hill to have an up hill patio anyway.  I guess I don't understand the uphill patio view as the one I have seen done it makes the house seem like it is sitting in a hole, which it basically was.

Rob
 
Sean Pratt
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Thomas Griffin wrote:Sean,
Are you shoring the front to be bermed up to the windows?   I finally bought the Oehler book but have not had time to read it yet and see what all the fuss is about.  I did read the Hait book but it seemed to be at odds with what I have heard people preach about Oehler style.  I guess I will find out. 

The House is small so the light from the South Front windows is going all the way to the back wall so I would think that not having windows on both sides is not the end of the world.   In your climate where there is not that much rain which way the roof slopes is probably more manageable if it slopes to the back instead of to the front.  Again not the end of the world.  You don't have much of a hill to have an up hill patio anyway.  I guess I don't understand the uphill patio view as the one I have seen done it makes the house seem like it is sitting in a hole, which it basically was.

Rob
Rob,
Im gunna berm up to about the window line for sure. As for Oehlers book I think what made it great for me is anyone can read it and understand how to pull off an underground structure.Mine wont be totaly underground so I feel a french drain in the back pluss catching roof water should do the trick. Worst case scenario I do some remodeling or more earth works. After all as you stated its basically sitting in a hole! Haha
 
Sean Pratt
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With the help of the guys here im going to be able to sleep in my house tomorrow! Ant village is just getting better and easier to live in all the time. Got my walls up in a few days and today a door. I have endless little jobs to make it better but my mind is blown that I own a home after six months of hard work.
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front side
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back side
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east side
 
Hans Quistorff
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I recommend you plan on a green house roof on the north side.  If you put a post every two feet for eight feet up the slope on each end of the house with a small diameter log from one to the other then it only takes eight foot long sheets of poly carbonate on top to make the roof. The east end could be planked like the end of the house with berm. Water barrels could be buried in the berm on the north wall of the house to hold the water coming off the greenhouse.  The slope up the north side of the greenhouse should be 8 feet high from the path along the berm and meet with the roof at the top. [dig out ventilation for the summer] The roof will act as a sun scoop during the winter as well as keeping the north side dry.  You can then grow greens and things like alpine strawberries through the winter. This would be much like Paul Wheaten.s first drawing of a proposed underground house.
 
Judith Browning
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things are looking great, Sean!  Looks like you'll be ready for winter soon....looking forward to more pics when you can find the time.
 
Julia Winter
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Sean Pratt wrote: my mind is blown that I own a home after six months of hard work.


That is so awesome, Sean!  Congratulations!  It must feel great to sleep in a space you've made yourself.
 
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